Friday, January 1, 2016

Tattle and Wrye column January 2016 edition



“Happy New Year!” declares Tattle. 

“Whoo hoo!  And we are tickled to launch into our monthly Love of Literature Leaps.  To celebrate the New Year, we have not one, but TWO interviews as well as a review.  The very first for 2016!” adds Wrye.

“Wow, 2016, it sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it?

“That’s cause we’re getting old.”

Tattle’s nose does the snob lift.  “Speak for yourself.  I stopped aging at forty, and I don’t look a day older than that, either!”

Knows better than to respond, Wrye instead crooks an arm, and offers it to Tattle.  “Ready for our Love of Literature Leap?”

“Lead the way!”

Plops right back into the office as they remember their first interview is with Ron D. Voigts, author of THE WITCH’S DAUGHTER and winner of the Tattle and Wrye Award 2016.  On cue, a knock sounds at the door.

T:  Welcome to our office.  (Four dogs peer up from their napping beds.  One yawns, one offers a woof in greeting, the other two simply switch positions and go back to sleep). Oh, don’t mind them, they don’t bite.

R:  First let me thank you for inviting me to your office. I love the layout, the furnishings, even the paisley wall paper.  You must give me the name of your interior decorator. I am hoping he can do my office the same way.  Does he do the four dog grouping for everyone, or was that custom for you?

W:  Just for us, but I hear she offers a cat grouping, a bird ensemble and a dragon egg that will eventually hatch.  However, I digress.  (Wrye grins and does a bushy brow lift) Have a seat.  It is so good to cyber-see you, our very first winner of the Tattle and Wrye Award.  Congratulations!  (Tattle smiles and does a thumbs up) Needless to say, we totally enjoyed THE WITCH’S DAUGHTER.  Great blend of genres. 

Anywho, we have been told you have an eclectic mind, on a scale from 1 to 10, how eclectic?   Ten being, you are living in the tenth solar system in the Daleks’universe, one being you occasionally wear different colored socks.

Annnnd…. Do you know any Dalek personally?  If you don’t know what a Dalek is, then this question will disappear in 5 -4  -3  -2 -1! 

R:  I am honored to receive the Tattle and Wrye Award. This is my first time winning an award for my writing, so it is quite special to me. Thank you, so much.

Regarding the Eclectic Mind, I have not yet reached a 10, although I am working at it. I’m more of an 8-1/2. That puts me in a category of swimming in the ocean with dolphins and trapping squirrels in my spare time. For me an eclectic mind processes multiple thoughts that have very little to do with each other in a short time span. When in my element, I can contemplate steganography encryption, defend the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin and explain the subtle theme of the last episode of The Walking Dead. All of this occurs within brief span of time, somewhere between 12 minutes and a few milliseconds. At an earlier time in my life, I’d probably have been put on Ritalin, but that ship has left the port.

Daleks? We’ll leave that to Dr. Who to sort out.

T:     Can you really use chop sticks?  How about Cavendish Brown?  He seems more the knife and fork sort to us, or does he?  (Squints her eyes, trying to look mysterious, but false lashes get stuck, making her twitch as if in a fit)

R: To your first question, yes, I can use chop sticks. I picked up the art while spending time in China and Taiwan. It was learn or starve. Once while at a Chinese buffet (Locally of course. For some reason the Chinese don’t do Chinese buffets in China. Maybe they have American buffets!) I had gotten halfway through my meal, working on my second plate of sushi, kimchee, and something resembling pygmy octopuses, when a man in bib overalls and a dog-eared ball cap sauntered over to me. He gave me a curt nod and pointed to a table across the room where an equally handsome guy sat. “Me and Bufford over yonder have been watching you work them wood sticks. All we can say is you do a mighty fine job of it.”

You are right about Cavendish. He is more of a knife and fork, meat and potatoes guy. Although recently being on his own and having the kitchen skills of Tibetan yak, he’s become a can of soup and spoon guy.  We will get a peek at his cooking talent in the next book. (And I hope I am not giving too much away.)  He branches out in his culinary skills and tackles something more complicated. Mac and cheese.

W:  Would Cavendish prefer to be a superhero or a supervillain?

R:  Definitely superhero. He is the reluctant hero but will put on his super cape when necessary to right wrong, defend the weak, and protect the innocent. Just got to get the super adrenaline flowing.

T:  What would be his power?

R:  Cavendish would definitely want to fly. What good is a super cape if you’re not airborne? In the second book of the Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery series he could use flying to save a bunch of people. Sadly he didn’t have the power and must rescue them the old fashioned way. I’d tell more but that would give away the surprise ending.

W:  Same questions for you, superhero or supervillain?  Power?

R:  Supervillain sounds like fun. But I’m sure I am not ready to take over the world yet. I’d start small and maybe conquer east Hoboken, NJ, or perhaps a small dairy farm in Wisconsin. But unlike Marvel’s Magneto, I’d attract money and call myself Money-to. I’d wear tights, have a green cape and a $ sign on my chest. I’d walk through rich neighborhoods where wealthy CEOs live and suck away their money. Now that I think of it, maybe I am really a Superhero.

T: Who would you prefer to be, Napoleon Solo (Man from U.N.C.L.E. sixties spy show) or James Bond?  Does Cavendish have any of their sterling character traits? 

R:  Before I answer, I must tell you I got to visit Piz Gloria, the villain’s lair from on her Majesty’s Secret Service. The place is atop the Shilthorn Mountain in the Alps. The building rotates slowly, so if you stay in one place long enough, you get to see a 360 degree view of the mountains. Alas, Mr. Blofeld, Bond’s nemesis, had abandoned the hideout and now it’s a restaurant. I ordered an open-faced sandwich topped with lots of Swiss cheese, and not the holey stuff we know, but more like something Peter the Shepherd Boy would eat.

So much for that eclectic thought, back to the question. Bond or Solo? Hmm. Like them both. Grew up wanting to be them. Attracting hot women. Fighting bad guys. Cool gadgets. Saving the world. But alas I have learned I am more of a Maxwell Smart person. Phone in the shoe. The cone of silence that never worked. “Sorry about that Chief.”

For Cavendish, he can certainly handle himself in a fight. He’s not a womanizer and would be devoted to one lady. The coolest gadget he owns is a can opener (for the cans of soup mentioned earlier).  But like our spy friends, he will go the distance to save someone.

T& W:  Thank you so much for allowing us to grill… um…. Interview you.  You have been a delight, and again congratulations on the award!

No sooner does Ron exit then Joyce Ward, author of THE LESSON appears at the door.

W: Welcome to our lair, Joyce!

T: We do not have a lair. It is a perfectly grand looking office. (Lifts her chin with pride, very used to the
clutter, piles of papers and books, dust bunnies and the same menagerie of dogs. Now, all piled together and ignoring the humans)

W: Sit here. (Wrye snatched a tower of old bound manuscripts from a chair and pounds the cushion. Puffs of dust rise like miniature clouds) Tell us something about your book THE LESSON. The cover looks deliciously creepy. Also, when is your release date?

J: Thank you for inviting me to your lair. (Looking around) I can tell you love do I. The Lesson is the story of Pam and Kevin, two twenty-somethings, who show up stoned to a mortuary. In their current state, they’re disrespectful and irreverent.  But things get dicey when Kevin ignores a warning sign and the couple’s terrifying journey begins. I’m a big fan of Twilight Zone and Night Gallery and, I hope, it

The idea for the story happened when I was in high school. My cousin and I attended our late uncle’s
viewing. We looked for the restroom and were sent downstairs to use the bathroom next to the embalming room. When we tried leaving, the door jammed. We were trapped. We called for help, but being in the basement, no one heard us. Eventually, we worked the lock until we got out. I knew in
my heart that I would incorporate that event into a story. It took a few decades, but I finally found a vehicle In THE LESSON.

The LESSON was released in April 2015. Feedback has been positive, which is encouraging.

T: Considering this is the New Year, do you have any non-resolutions? You know, resolutions you know will be broken in six weeks or so.

J: Next year, I plan to try my hand a self-publishing. My goal is to self-publish a collection of short
horror stories, both previously published and brand new. All the stories are quirky and (like THE LESSON) end with a twist. Very exciting.

I also write contemporary romance under a pseudonym, Linnea Alexis. "She" plans to self-publish a short story from a previously published anthology.

W: If you were a dog, what breed would you be? And why?  (Offers an intensely quizzical look)

J: (Rubs chin) Hmmm, let’s see.  Probably a cocker spaniel. They’re playful and have tender hearts. Growing up, we had a black cocker spaniel. He wasn’t particularly intelligent, but had a “tender
heart.” He had large, soulful eyes...and was an excellent listener. Perfect for a teenage girl with a lot of angst. Many tears were shed on his furry shoulders.

T: Soooo, you like haunted houses? Horror? Scaring the beejees outta people? Is there a dark, dank place deep within? Tell us…. (Poises on the edge of her seat, and bites a nail)

J: I’m a big wuss. I love reading and writing horror and creepy stories (which concerned my mother, incidentally).  But I’m too cowardly to watch them without covering my eyes during the super-suspenseful
or gory scenes. How pathetic is that?  

Growing up, we lived in a drafty, creaky farmhouse. I swear it was haunted. Below the house was a “dark, dank” root cellar, with a large spider web in front of the door. No matter how many times I swiped the web away with a broom, the dang spiders would rebuild it for the next time I showed up. We also had an old barn/hay barn that housed bats, rats, and snakes. Honest. I never went in there. Never.

T:  (Shivers)  I wouldn’t either. 

W: If you were to interview a ghost, what is the first question you’d ask?

J: I wouldn’t interview a ghost. I’m too chicken. But if I came face to face with a ghost, I’d scream, “What are you doing here?” and then beg them to please go away and leave me alone.

T: (Grins, knowing she’d do the exact same thing)  Do you use a nightlight? Don’t be shy about answering. I have a nightlight in every room, including closets. I can be a scaredy cat.

J: I’m right there with you. We have night lights all over the house. We also live in a community with
a lot of street lights.

W: Tattle, you are not a scaredy cat, you just keep tripping over everything. 

T: Not everything, just dogs. (Pauses and reflects) I wonder if there are ghost dogs? What do you think, Joyce? Do you think ghost dogs exist? Are you afraid of ghosts in general?

J: (Rubs chin) Hmmm. I don’t think ghost dogs exist, but being a big fan of the show “Supernatural,” nothing would surprise me.  (Laughs) I’m petrified of ghosts, though...and would probably become one if I saw one.

T: It was wonderful chatting with you. Can’t wait to read your book. Perhaps you’ll even let us do a review.

W: Not such a subtle hint, but do let us know!

J: I had a great time. Visiting the lair wasn’t as “scary” as I thought. You made me feel right at home.

As a new writer, I’d love a review. Thanks again for inviting me. (Exhales) 


The two jump from the office and slip right between the covers of Amy McKinley’s supernatural, fantasy thriller, HIDDEN

“Oh my!” Tattle scoots behind Wrye as she views Jade’s painting.  “A dead man and a bloody sidewalk is a bit scary.”

“It is very reflective of her nightmares, nightmares that just might be part of her reality,” Wrye offers, wincing.

“Jade, a quintuplet, is half-demon, half-goddess just like her four sisters.  That all on its own has its merits and problems, but being cursed by the gods makes life truly hellish.  Of all her sisters, Jade is the first to show the effects of the curse of the three Fates.  It unleashes a literal beast of darkness within her and only the balance can restore it.”

“Would be nice if she could figure out just what that balance might be,” Wrye observes.  “Especially since her inner beast threatens to fully overtake her more and more each day.  Only her painting helps to contain it, and she fears it soon will not be enough.”

“Again, like her sisters, she has nestled herself in Earth’s human society, wearing glamour, a magic that hides her true self.  The sisters, scattered around the world, each has her own special talents, and each tries to find the key to defying the prophecy that reveals the sisters will destroy the gods.  At the same time they must avoid the Oneiroi clan, especially Nightmare, a dream god who vows to destroy the sisters, with his sights currently set on Jade.”

“Ah,” interjects Wyre, “but he, too, is being played by the gods in a fiendish way, and knowing they could be equally threatened, Nightmare’s brothers are determined to help him in his quest.”

“Jade knows there are answers within the paintings she feverishly creates, especially that of a
picturesque lake and cascading waterfall. She feels a desperate, almost obsessive connection luring her to step into the canvas, somehow believing that perhaps she could, perhaps it was real.”

Wrye shakes his head in sympathy.  “Such pain, such loneliness for such a young demon/god.  It is certainly unfair, and despite all this turmoil, Jade longs for love.  Can’t see her way clear to ever finding it, but the intense need only adds to the sadness of her torment.”

“Then, at a vulnerable moment, Jade is plunged into Nightmare’s heinous dream world where she slips from one dark dream world to another, trying to escape the villainous demon-god, but floundering in attack after attack, slowly losing the battle for her very life.”  Tattle can’t help adding, “Da da da daaaaaa!”

Wrye grins at her, and then at Roen, who, of course, can’t see him.  Wrye motions for Tattle to take a look.   “Do you see what I see?”

“Ooooh, yummy, yummy and so devilishly divine, hottie hunka.” Tattle nearly swoons at the sight of the reclusive Worr demon, a demon who mates for life.  Roen has battled the Oneiroi before, and is now drawn to protect Jade.”

“Together they must change fate, outwit gods, demons and fate, save not just their epic love but her sisters as well.”

“Wow!  This book is hot, wild and mesmerizing from the very first page.”  Tattle fans herself as she gushes on, “Each page leaves you hungry for more, each paragraph has you biting your nails with fear and concern for the protagonists, and every chapter makes you forget everything but this unique dimensional world.  Amy McKinley has created a universe that totally alters the way gods and demons are normally portrayed.  Though she sticks to some basic myths, Amy’s imagination takes the reader on an endless thrill ride drenched with terror, mystery, suspense, and hotter than hot passion.”

Wrye adds, “Amy’s writing style is smooth and clean.  She juggles multiple characters with ease, and drapes every single one with their own distinctive personality as well as individual layers that unfold along with the plot.  She has a fresh new style, and reinvents well-known dogma with a peppering of original clans and demons.”

“This is a brilliant piece, and we can only hope she creates another book in the same universe.  Go, Amy!”

Hope you enjoyed our leap into CBG’s talented author’s worlds and books.  Until next time, keep reading!

Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat

Created and written by:  Angelica Hart and Zi

Books by: Angelica Hart and Zi
Books by: Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane

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